Colin's birthday is coming up, and when we started planning his birthday party, I wanted to come up with a playful theme based on one of his favorite books for his small party. He absolutely loves the whole series of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books by Laura Numeroff, so several months ago, I spent my time surfing Pinterest and drawing my own inspiration from the books to devise a menu (cookies, muffins - savory and sweet - from If You Give a Moose a Muffin, pancakes from If You Give a Pig a Pancake, etc.) and activities.
And yet, over the past two months, we have seen a mild interest in baseball bubble into a full-on obsession. He only wants to read baseball books, play baseball games, sing baseball songs. It is literally all he talks about 90% of the day. I arrive at his crib in the morning to hear him muttering the words to Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and his first move once he is out of the crib is to reach for his bat and ball so he can begin "batting practice" (which looks a lot more like golf, but that's neither here nor there). His mitt follows us everywhere, and every time he gets in the car, he asks to go see the baseball stadium (we do live only one block away, so even when it's not the plan, it's a regular occurrence anyway).
When I started my planning, I was still maintaining the hope that I could resist the inevitable sports-themed parties for at least another year or two. He was still my baby, right?! I ordered an invitation off of Etsy according to my original book-themed plan and proceeded, figuring he would be excited to see all of their favorite foods, color mouse and moose pictures with his buddies and play at the park.
We updated this invitation from Etsy with our information for C's small party at the park.
When I headed to Party City to buy supplies for the party - plates, napkins, cups, etc. - I stumbled upon a gem in the clearance section. Cubs party napkins. A huge pack for a dollar. I knew that they would blow Colin's mind. We were already going to incorporate sports in a small way, since C's big gift from us is going to be the Little Tykes basketball hoop, and I decided then and there that while the invitation already went out with one theme, it didn't really matter. We could merge our original plan with a secondary sports theme... since it is his party after all. The first birthday is so much more for the parents, but at age two, this small party for his closest buddies and their parents is going to be all about him.
Here are some of my other finds:
Inflatable Basketballs - For favors (and to entertain the kids while we are in the small classroom adjacent to the park), I found these cheap and perfect sized inflatable basketballs. We are lucky that there will be 11 kids, so buying items in a pack of a dozen is inexpensive and easy. (Sadly, they didn't have these in baseball form.)
Basketball Plates, Chicago Cubs Napkins, Football Dessert Plates, Soccer Cups - For the meal (which will still be brunch, and mostly inspired by the book), I found all sorts of great disposable dishes at Party City, and they were all on sale (seemed strange, since I doubt sports ever really go out of style, but I'll take the big win!).
For the tables, I am planning to cover them inexpensively with a roll of plastic table cover - I love that one roll will be more than enough for the party, and the leftovers will be amazingly helpful at home to spread out when we do crafty projects for easy clean up.
For activities, we will have the inflatable balls with the Little Tykes hoop, some homemade coloring sheets that I traced from the Mouse and Moose books, and assuming the weather cooperates, the playground. After hosting at home, I have learned that the small cost of renting a room through the Park District is more than worth it for the ease of clean up.
We can't wait to celebrate our little guy's second birthday.